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Race and the Incidence of Unemployment in South Africa

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  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
  • John Knight

Abstract

South Africa's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world, and it has important distributional implications. The paper examines both entry into and duration of unemployment using data for the mid-1990s. A probit model of unemployment shows an important role for race, education, age, gender, home-ownership, location, and numerous other variables, all of which have plausible explanations. The large race gap in unemployment is explored further by means of a decomposition analysis akin to that normally used to analyze wage discrimination. There remains a substantial residual which might represent unobserved characteristics, such as quality of education, or discrimination. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004..

Suggested Citation

  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Race and the Incidence of Unemployment in South Africa," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 198-222, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:8:y:2004:i:2:p:198-222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 1999. "Levels, trends and consistency of employment and unemployment figures in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-35.
    2. Knight, J B & McGrath, M D, 1977. "An Analysis of Racial Wage Discrimination in South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 39(4), pages 245-271, November.
    3. Frijters, Paul, 1999. "Hiring on the Basis of Expected Productivity in a South African Clothing Firm," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 345-354, April.
    4. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084.
    5. Blackaby, David, et al, 1999. "Unemployment among Britain's Ethnic Minorities," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    6. Gaute Erichsen & Jeremy Wakeford, 2001. "Racial Wage Discrimination in South Africa: Before and After the First Democratic Election," Working Papers 01049, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    7. Nickell, Stephen J, 1980. "A Picture of Male Unemployment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 776-794, December.
    8. Allanson, Paul & Atkins, Jonathan P & Hinks, Timothy, 2002. "No End to the Racial Wage Hierarchy in South Africa?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 442-459, October.
    9. Sandrine Rospabé, 2001. "Making Racial Wage Relations Fair in South Africa: A Focus on the Role of Trade Unions," Working Papers 01048, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Galliani & James Levinsohn & Ingrid Woolard, 2006. "Why Has Unemployment Risen in the New South Africa?," CID Working Papers 134, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    2. Rulof Burger & Rachel Jafta & Dieter von Fintel, 2016. "Affirmative action policies and the evolution of post-apartheid South Africa's racial wage gap," WIDER Working Paper Series 066, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Timothy Hinks, 2012. "Fractionalization and well-being: Evidence from a new South African data set," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 253-271, December.
    4. Chijioke O. Nwosu, 2016. "The impact of health on the employment and earnings of young South Africans," Working Papers 601, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    5. Alexis Sienaert, 2008. "The Labour Supply Effects of the South African State Old Age Pension: Theory, Evidence and Implications," SALDRU Working Papers 20, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    6. Fabre, Alice & Pallage, Stéphane, 2015. "Child labor, idiosyncratic shocks, and social policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 394-411.
    7. Kingdon, Geeta & Knight, John, 2006. "The measurement of unemployment when unemployment is high," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 291-315, June.
    8. Timothy Hinks, 2008. "Poverty, networks and location: the determinants of job-search in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 117-131.
    9. Deluna, Roperto & Berdos, Kleint, 2015. "Factors Affecting Length of Job Search and Job Switching in Davao City, Philippines," MPRA Paper 68802, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    11. Vuyo Pikoko & Andrew Phiri, 2018. "Is there hysteresis in South African unemployment? Evidence form the post-recessionary period," Working Papers 1803, Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University, revised Jan 2018.
    12. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2007. "Unemployment in South Africa, 1995--2003: Causes, Problems and Policies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 813-848, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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